20 Jul New Producer Hiring: 3D Interview
Are you hiring new Insurance Producers?
The problem with hiring new Producers is you want to know everything about them, but have a very short period of time to discover it.
Most people date their significant others for 6-12 months before they ever consider getting married.
It’s how you get to know what someone is like. You get to know how they deal with traffic jams; do they stay cool and calm or become a manic driver darting in and out of traffic?
You get to know what they are like at dinner when the wait person gets the order wrong or is slower than dirt. Are they courteous or rude? You learn how they treat their friends and family, is it with respect or disdain?
But when you’re hiring new Producers, you sure don’t have 6-12 months in most situations.
That’s why a 3-Dimensional approach to interviewing is important.
I’ve been around a lot of agency owners that have no problem admitting they don’t know how to hire a producer. Too often, they spend their time together, telling the new producer candidate about themselves, their agency and the industry.
The unfortunate part is they seldom find out very much about the candidate other than they are likable, come from a good family and have a good education. But, that doesn’t mean they can sell commercial insurance, does it?
Even when agency owners use the approach of getting others involved in the interview process, the challenge is few of them have ever been trained to hire a salesperson.
Before you start to interview, start by determining what you want this salesperson to do.
It seems simple, but is it really? They have to prospect a lot, make a lot of calls, meet a lot of people, with one singular purpose and that is to set appointments. Ultimately, they have to set appointments or they have no one to sell to.
Secondly, they have to be good at persuasion, influence, both listening and story-telling. The bottom line, they need to get the deal closed. No one gets paid to quote, we get paid when we win.
Third, there is no use in selling it if you can’t keep it. There is an interesting fine line here. You want a quarterback to run the offense, but not be the offense. Meaning, this salesperson needs to be great at laying out a service plan, then delegating it to the team to handle — so they don’t get caught up in the service world and out of the selling world.
3-Dimensional Interview Approach:
The most important Things to Find Out BEFORE Hiring New Producers
Dimension 1: CAN DO.
Does your producer candidate have the skills, knowledge and experience (can do) to do the job? And if they don’t, do you have the ability to train them. If not, their success is already jeopardized.
Dimension 2: WILL DO.
Will Do is personality and motivation, do they have the fire in the belly to get up and going every day with an intent to conquer their world. Is in it their nature to work independently? Selling is a lonely job. Are they assertive enough to drive the sales call to a close? Do they have a belief that they are in control of their own destiny?
If they don’t have a ‘strong’ sales personality, you might be hiring someone more suited to account management, meaning they will struggle to do what required to be successful.
Dimension 3: FOLLOW THROUGH.
Follow Through is work ethic and persistence. It’s the ability to put up with the pain to get the gain. You see it vividly in sports, football players in the weight room struggling to bench press 400#’s so they can get strong.
It’s the ability to push through resistance, stay focused, be persistent… keep doing it, another word for it is Grit.
What’s the most important of these 3 Dimensions? Well, it’s the one that’s missing.
If your producer doesn’t have the skills and knowledge to set appointments or close the business, and you don’t have the resources to train them, they will either fail or do poorly.
If your producer doesn’t have the ‘personality’ characteristics of a high activity salesperson, they will passively meander through life and plod along.
If the fire doesn’t burn hot to ‘achieve’, they will probably do poorly. Think about how many ‘book-sitters’ you see in the insurance industry. That is not the characteristic of a high-performing salesperson is it?
If your producer doesn’t have the willingness to endure the painful times of cold calling or following up way more then it seems necessary to close a piece of business
So before you hire a new producer, slow down and make sure you leave no doubts about these 3-Dimensions.
Take the time during the interview process to test and assess if they have what it takes — before plunging down a $50,000 commitment.
Only when you’ve removed all doubts and the candidate has proven they have the Grit to make it should you offer them the contract.
Randy Schwantz, CEO/Founder
The Wedge Group
Hiring new Producers? Check out these Resources
GRIT: Find, Hire, & Develop REAL Producers
Dig into the psyche of a REAL Producer and how you can determine that before you make the commitment, not after, spending $100,000s of lost producer payroll and overhead expenses.
If you want a proven playbook to Find, Hire, and Develop REAL Producers – this book is your solution.
GRIT Personality Inventory Assessment
New Producer hiring mistakes will cost $50,000 – $200,000. It’s not only horrible on your bottom line, it kills your opportunity to grow your agency.
Mistakes can be eliminated, but to do so you need a profile that is not easy to game. The problem with most profiles is that producers have seen them before. They know how to answer the questions to get acceptable scores. That stops now with the GRIT Personality Inventory.
How are other agency owners hiring their new producers?